U.S. Finance and Accounting Professionals Confident About Economy, Says Survey

Optimism about the job market and current economy among U. S. finance and accounting professionals has reached a four-year high, finds the latest Mergis Group Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index, conducted by Harris Interactive.

At 57.8 for the first quarter of 2012, the Index increased 8.5 points. Of the 231 professionals surveyed, 49 percent believe that, even in the competitive job market, they would be able to find a new job, an increase from 40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Fewer professionals believe the economy is worsening, with less than a quarter of respondents believing conditions have weakened. This is down 23 percentage points to 21 percent. Due to the increased confidence and positive outlook, 31 percent of accounting and finance professionals surveyed said they would probably explore other job opportunities within the next 12 months.

“We are pleased to see that accounting and finance workers are showing growing optimism in the overall economic landscape and job availability within their industry, and the consistent rise over the past three quarters is certainly encouraging,” said Steve McMahan, Executive Vice President of Randstad US, Professionals. “The profession has posted sizeable gains, and one of the hottest job titles in the industry right now is a financial analyst - which is expected to grow 23 percent from 2010 to 2020. We believe 2012 will usher in a great deal of opportunity for the accounting and finance profession overall, including those with compliance, analysis, tax and forensic expertise. Our clients also have increasing needs for mortgage banking candidates due to a steady flow of foreclosures moving in the market paired with historically low interest rates. Likewise, the need for professionals that possess both the necessary certifications and degrees, coupled with strategic management capabilities and technological savvy is also rising.”